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What is Experiential Giving?

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Each season of Just Stories has a different eight-episode theme. The show kicks off with “Recycled Dreams,” featuring eight CEOs who have woven giving back into their business strategies.

These episodes will give you a blueprint for doing the same in the most efficient way possible, which is making their learnings your reality.

Solutions to problems tackled on this episode:

1. This episode explains the reason behind giving campaigns

2. This will give you the “why” you need to sell your marketing team on a giving campaign!

This episode is a game changer!  I have seen this method work for so many organizations, PLEASE reach out if you have questions on how you can launch this for your business.

Season 1 of the podcast is titled “Recycled Dreams” because each episode focuses on CEO’s who have utilized giving back as a part of their main business strategy. The purpose is to use the art of story telling to motivate our business communities into giving back more because when you do, everybody wins!

Be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and never miss an episode.

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Full Transcription:

Brett Thornton: Welcome back, everybody to a short episode of just stories with BT, I’m joined by CK who has a question that I know and I hope could impact a lot of businesses in a cool way that we want to talk about.

CK Ong: Yeah. So a lot of businesses actually run a lot of promotions and sales and try to drive traffic right whether it’s a store on the website or what have you and there’s another way to go about that in which you can do the same thing without running any kind of crazy sales and discounts. And you talked about experiential giving being that exactly you know so could you give people more of a visual an understanding of how that works? And how that, hopefully can inspire other companies to do the same thing? And bring just the same amount of traffic, if not more and make a bigger impact?

Brett Thornton: Yes. So it’s a great question and it’s something I’m really passionate about, you know, so for anyone who’s listened to the podcast, you know, the first eight episodes all talked about giving back so you can even see on the board behind, if you’re looking at the video, the first eight episodes, you know, have these amazing CEOs that have utilized giving back and it now became a lot of cases, the backbone of their organization so very much how it was with Roger pink or cancer, or Dale with foster kids, or whatever. So what I’ve seen over the years, especially with the buy one, get one campaigns or what not, is that it’s what I call experiential giving and I want to describe it and use a visual so everyone can understand kind of how it works. Okay. So obviously, if you’re listening, good for you do your best, but probably watching this better. So, here’s this playdough, right, one of my daughters played. So this playdough represents an ad campaign. So generally, these big you know, furniture, companies, mattresses, technology, most all companies run on like a three-week ad cycle, right? So every three weeks, they’re generally a new event.

CK Ong: Right.

Brett Thornton: Right, and those usually line up around a holiday. So you got Memorial Day, your sales always before it and after, then you take a break, then you run into July 4, then you take a break and then take a break. It’s November. So it just they just never stopped the calendar, right? And it’s always aligned around these big holidays, right? And so you’ve got your ads, the ad spend doesn’t change, right? Well, I mean, it can go up and down as far as how much it cost, but the ad spends happening regardless, you’re doing it. And now with that ad spend, you know, you’re spending money to drive people in to buy something, right, whether it’s to drive them to the website, drive them into your retail locations, whatever that is. And there has to be something you do. That entices people to come in, right? So you’re putting your name out there. And that might work. If you’re doing like a lifestyle shot or something that I’ve been generally, especially in retail, it’s pretty promotable, so you put things on sale, right? So you run on, you spend all his money, it’s 500 grands, a million dollars, wherever you spend on all these commercial ads, and you drive in x. Okay, so you take all that, that you spent, and now you drove it, and here’s your revenue. Okay. However, this revenue is it’s good, but you have to keep in mind, you lost a bunch of profit, because you had to discount your product. 

CK Ong: Yeah.

 Right, because you had to drive people in. So it’s not as good as your normal revenue, what’s your margin might be a lot higher, it’s a little lower. But you, hey, you drove a lot of people in the ideas, did you drive more people and then you would have before, and they bought more and so at the end of the day, you know, at the end day, you end up with more sales than you would have if you didn’t do anything, right. And that’s a typical event. Okay. So that’s that works. Great. Good Practice been done for years, generations, it works. Now, what I propose is not that you get rid of this program, keep your program do what works well for you. But what I am challenging corporations to do, especially retailers, is every now and again, maybe once a quarter, whatever mix in a given event. And the reason is that I can guarantee you I have the numbers, I have the stats. I’ve done this for years, and I’ve seen it, I can still give you this. Okay, so this is your same money you spent on the commercial and you’re saying revenue, take out the discounting all the money, you awesome discounting, whatever this packet, I can guarantee you this. Yeah, but it comes with a lot more. And that’s what the magic of experience we’re giving it. So I’ll explain it to you. Your back. You got your same expense. Okay, so $500,000 whatever is you spent all you’re getting. Now, people resonate with giving back. Why because they have to make a purchase anyways. But if you entice someone and let them know, hey, you’re going to buy this Master’s, you’re going to buy this stair is returned by whatever anyways, it’s car, whatever it is, right? However, if you come in and you buy that thing, during this timeframe, and you buy this specific thing, well, then x is going to happen. So in the case of you know, we’ll use like a Bogo event that we’ve done for charity in the past like in the mattress industry, right. So you’ve come in you buy this nicer mattress because you buy that mattress now we’re going to give a foster kid a brand new bed. Okay, so people get excited about they resonate with that maybe they were a foster kid, maybe they no one maybe it’s something that holding their heartstrings to go okay, I was gonna do this thing Anyways, I’m gonna go there now. So you do it, you driving all these people, you sell a bunch of stuff, right? And at the end of the day, you have to pay for those beds though, right? 

CK Ong: Yeah.

Brett Thornton: So you didn’t discount, you didn’t do a big promo like you did before. But you do have to pay for the beds, which costs money. So what I’ve done is I always structured these in the past, and very good is to figure out how much of that that event costs. So it’s gonna cost me $150 to make this bed, I got to ship it out there, I gotta do this, I can do that. Okay. And I figured out how much of margin would that cost, right. And I always made sure that the margin of the given event was less even than what we used to charge, like, whatever the sale would be. So before, you might say it’s 20% off to come in this weekend, right? So you’re losing 20%? Well, I would do a given event. And literally my only cost centers, were even costing us less to do that promotion. But we drive in the same amount of people. Right, so you do the event, you have a big sale, you have to discount whatever and you’ve got X, you do this, you do the same amount of money, you drive in the same amount, maybe even a little bit less, and you have the same. But here’s the beauty of experiential. In this all you get 

CK Ong: the impact.

Brett Thornton: No, because what you’re forgetting about right and not forgetting, but here’s your base that we already have. But now we got to layer on another level, right? What is this? So this is the feeling those guests now have when they buy this product, because let’s say they were a foster kid, or they were a, you know, are involved in your organization or have seen first-hand or have some type of relationship with, with someone in the foster world. They know it’s very difficult. Right? They know about the rates of people dropping out of school of going back to going to jail, dying, all these different things. And they know this is very important. And having a mattress is so critical, right? They, they get behind it and they come in and they make the purchase. So you’re in store, you get up there, you know, you’re checking out, they ring a bell, the whole store class, you’re like, wow, this is cool. And then you see the commercial lawn, or you might get an email after saying, hey, you don’t want to donate x, y, z. And you know that because you bought that specific bed, a foster kid who might be on the ground, sleeping on the floor, now has a mattress. And you feel good about that. Yeah, that feels good. Right? Like, so you’re getting the bed, that’s awesome, great, maybe change your life because your bed sucked and now you’re not having backache. But now you’re also like, wow, this is really cool. You’re going to tell people about this guarantee. So that’s awesome. The people feel great about it. But there’s more with that financial giving, it’s a full circle. What’s the next level, it’s your employees. So imagine you go into work, you go to the sales meeting or something on the weekend, they do a whole lot of training on this buy one give one event, they talk about, hey, these are the more expensive matters that we really want to talk about. Because they’re the Bogo beds or whatever you work on it, you role-play you practice, that guest comes in, and you don’t mail it in, you give it everything you have the best presentation you’ve ever given. You do all the value stories; you talk about everything you did all the things you’ve practiced and the guest is really excited about it and they connect with the value story that connect with the foster kid, whatever the organization was. And because of all that hard work, they go with the Bogo. And maybe they even tell you like how I was really coming in just to buy this thing over here. But you know, now I feel empowered, and you did a great job, I want to buy this nicer thing, right. And now, this associate who did all that, when their guest rings the bell, guess who’s ringing or when the bell gets rung, they’re the one gets ringing, because their guests, they get to be checked down when I sold the Bogo. And then two months later, when the event happened, they go to the giving event, they actually unload these beds out of a truck, they then get to put it in the back of, you know, a foster parent’s car, who maybe their daughter just died in a car and now they inherited three kids and they have no money, no fixed income, and they have nothing to do, they’re freaking out. And all of a sudden you’re like, here’s that, here’s, here’s all this stuff and they’re crying, you’re crying and this person is like, oh my god, I feel so great. I’m so excited to be part of an organization that does this. And now they’re even more excited to do more, to sell more and to, you know, to talk to more guests. It’s like this huge layer. And that’s not the most important part, with experience or giving the most important part is the last one, which is the foster kid or the veteran who’s coming back from war and suffering from PTSD. And, you know, they a lot of times if the veterans are getting off the street, there’s this new program where they fund houses more than they give them these apartments and so the They’ll give him this key. They’re like, okay, yeah, you forgot, you know, we’re helping you get off the street, thank you for being a veteran and you know fighting for us and yeah. And here’s the department and give them a key tool MPFR. So here’s someone may be suffering from, you know, already from alcohol abuse or drugs or whatever, these are difficult. They’re having a hard time processing their, you know, things and having the war, whatever now you just give them an empty apartment, in their back on the street in three months. So you have to provide, you know, some stuff, what we found is the biggest differentiator in the success rate of those people coming back to the homes was that they had a bed, a nice bed, right, a comfortable bed you can sleep in. So that’s another gimme event, right? So imagine that person, or imagine that foster kid who actually gets it, because the guest came in and committed to buying it, because the salesperson committed to selling it and showing it out. and now your level though, right? And so that’s truly experience we’re getting is it even? Right? Because there’s your sales, remember, it’s the marketing spend and the sales, that’s the same. And that’s the beautiful thing with experiential giving. And so for anyone who was just listening, I challenge you go to the website, fam dot news, check out the video, right? And look for the example because there’s no reason. Now I would ask you as someone who I’ve talked to this about, is this does this seem hard to do?

CK Ong:  No. I’m like, how do we do that? Like now? 

Brett Thornton: Yeah, right. Like, this is something that can be done right? And we look at all these organizations who are giving back and have figured out different ways and seeking I talked about this in our debrief episode, right are Bravo, and to the season episode, that is not that difficult. It just takes someone to do it. And you’ll see that people will fight and help you to do things to give back. You just have to make it easy. Yeah, that’s what I found, right? It’s like organic food. So it first comes out and we’re years ago, right? You wanted to buy some organic eggs. You were like, oh my god, you’re gonna like mortgaged my house. So I got it. But over time, it became like, okay, it’s 499 or 599. You’re like, okay, for $1 I’m in love. Let’s go organic. You know what I mean? Like, you got to the point where it’s like, yeah, I can just I want to do the right thing. I want to eat healthy. I want to eat organic. I want GMOs by also like, I got a budget. 

CK Ong: Yeah.

Brett Thornton: So we got to make it easy. And that’s how giving back is all you got to do is come into the store, which you’re gonna do anyways. Get something which we already do anyways. But now just do this thing and this will happen not easy and everyone feels great. That makes sense. 

CK Ong: Love it. 

Brett Thornton: It did I pitch it right.

 CK Ong: I think so.

Brett Thornton: Awesome. 

CK Ong: The visual itself. 

 Brett Thornton: The visual self. So check out the video. Thank you. That is experiential giving. 

CK Ong: For sharing Brett and we’ll see you next time.

Brett Thornton: See you next time.

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